Don brings a national career in collaborative conservation and natural resource management to the Northwest Straits Foundation. Read more...
Don’s career includes national leadership in public lands management and natural resource policy with USFS, NPS, FWS, BLM, NGOs and states. He served as SCA’s Alaska regional director establishing its state office, and strategic alliances supporting programs in fisheries, forestry and recreation resources.
Areas of his specialized work include trails and recreation resource management, community protection in wildland fire, invasive species mitigation, Wild and Scenic rivers management, and Wilderness science and stewardship.
Don served as wilderness social scientist and planner with the USDA Forest Service; founder and board chair of the Society of Wilderness Stewardship; member of the Western Governors Association Forest Health Advisory Committee; and member of the Public Lands Service Coalition.
Don has a MES in wilderness management and BA in environmental journalism.
Director of Programs
I manage shoreline restoration projects on behalf of the Foundation and MRCs, and I was formerly the Restoration Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Read more...
I’ve worked on restoration projects around the region and was key to successful implementation of the Northwest Straits Initiative’s creosote debris removal program and an important partner on many nearshore projects.
Marine Projects Manager
I manage the Derelict Fishing Gear Program and Shoreline Restoration Monitoring. Read more...
Prior to joining the Foundation, I worked for six years in commercial fisheries management, this helped me gain extensive field experience in the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program, and was a key component to the successful start of the IFQ Catch Monitor Program. In addition to a busy professional life, I’m an active volunteer devoting time to community outreach and environmental stewardship programs.
Protecting the Salish Sea has been high on my radar since moving to Washington to sea kayak guide in the San Juan islands. Read more...
Experiencing this beautiful state by climbing, back country skiing, kayaking, and hiking has only grown my love for it. By helping Northwest Straits Foundation with the day-to-day tasks, I hope to protect the area and its inhabitants so the future can see the beauty I am blessed to see everyday.
My passion for restoration work stems from my extreme appreciation for wildlife. Read more...
I have always been a frequent backpacker as well as an avid recreational fisherman, therefore, I have spent much of my time observing wildlife habitat and how drastically it has changed in such a short period of time.
My observations caused me to develop a tremendous amount of empathy for these species and ultimately drew me to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Western Washington University.
My time spent procuring this degree supplied me with the knowledge I need to pursue a career in restoration, and my position as a Marine Fellow with the Northwest Straits Foundation will provide me with the opportunity to turn this knowledge into experience. I hope that by taking part in restoring our shorelines and monitoring fish activity in the Pacific Northwest region I can help repair the complex marine ecosystem which our wildlife so desperately rely on.
Linda Friesen has been in non-profit fiscal management as a Finance Director for over 26 years... Read more
She has extensive experience in human resources, operations, and bookkeeping. As a person with disabilities, she is passionate about advocating for accessibility. She has spent her life in rural Michigan, gardening, and spending time with family.
Linda is excited to explore the Pacific Northwest and all the trails Bellingham has to offer. When not with family, she spends her time playing with her cat, Lily, and reading.
Jerry Masters is general manager for Valley Supply, a regional building supply company, and has represented economic interests... Read more
on the Snohomish MRC, including serving two terms as chair of the committee. Jerry is past chair of the Northwest Straits Commission and also serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Northwest Straits Commission. Jerry is excited by the Initiative’s ability to accomplish work through voluntary actions and its sense that responsibility for environmental outcomes should be shared by all.
Phil is a retired executive with a passion for making things better..... Read more
Forever an optimist, Phil likes to focus on “How we can” rather than “Why we can’t”. He believes that efforts to preserve, protect, and restore marine habitat is crucial not only to the health of our environment, but also to our economy and our quality of life. He’s excited about the work the Northwest Straits Foundation is doing and is eager to help build a sustainable and expanding program of marine education and preservation.
Nan McKay serves as Governor's appointee to the Northwest Straits Commission and was a former chair. Read more
She lives in Seattle where she is a Senior Advisor for 501 Commons Service Corps–orienting and supporting volunteers who help build the capacity of nonprofits throughout Washington State. She had her own consulting practice and has worked with nonprofits, foundations and local governments. Nan previously managed the Environmental Sustainability Program for The Russell Family Foundation. From 1985 to 2002, she served three Washington Governors, first as deputy director and executive director of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority and later as chair of the Puget Sound Action Team. Prior to that, Nan worked as Energy Project Coordinator for the Washington State associations of cities and counties. She also worked for the League of Oregon Cities on issues ranging from land use and growth management to energy policy and election law. Nan has served on a variety of public and nonprofit boards. She was a founding member of the Association of National Estuary Programs and is a past president of the Environmental Education Association of Washington. She currently chairs the board of the Sustainable Path Foundation and serves on the boards of North Cascades Institute and Western River Conservancy. She is also a member of advisory boards to Curriculum for the Bioregion, the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, and the Salish Sea Institute.
Deborah Atwood is a Senior Fellow at the Meridian Institute, based in Washington, D.C.... Read more
Deborah Atwood is a Senior Fellow at the Meridian Institute, based in Washington, D.C. She has recently relocated from D.C. to Bellingham, where she was born and raised. Her professional career has advanced groundbreaking policies on oceans, food, and agriculture in the United States. Deb supports the Northwest Straights Foundation because of their commitment to restoring and protecting marine habitats in the Pacific Northwest. The foundation’s collaborative approach, involving scientists, policymakers, and local communities, fosters effective conservation strategies. She appreciates the foundation’s efforts to engage and educate the public about the importance of marine conservation and inspire her to be an advocate for the environment.
Rachel has built a diverse skillset and wide knowledge of Salish Sea/Western Washington... Read more
Rachel has built a diverse skillset and wide knowledge of Salish Sea/Western Washington ecology, watersheds, and communities through 20+ years of working for local businesses and regional and local nonprofits, with a focus on natural history, Puget Sound recovery, habitat restoration, scientific monitoring, community engagement, and outreach and education projects. She recently joined the WA Department of Natural Resources in a unique, cross-sectional role overseeing implementation and tracking of the Watershed Resilience Action Plan for the Snohomish River basin, a coordinated effort to support salmon recovery, resiliency, and vibrant communities in this large and important watershed. Rachel has a long history with the Northwest Straits Initiative, having served on both the Skagit and Whatcom Marine Resources Committees, as well as a member of the NW Straits Commission. She lives in Bellingham with her partner, two teenage sons, 2 dogs, one cat, and a flock of happy chickens.
Adam fell in love with the marine environment from afar growing up in Colorado..... Read more
After completing his BA in Biology at Whittier College in 1995, Adam moved to Bellingham and was introduced to the Salish Sea and our Southern Resident Orca families working as a whale watching naturalist. His passion for connecting individuals and communities with the marine environment led him to pursue an M.Ed from the College of the Environment at Western Washington University. Since completing his degree, Adam has worked in community outreach, education and natural resource restoration from the crest of the Cascades to the San Juan Islands and beyond. Working with non-profits, Washington State Parks and Tribal Communities has given Adam a broad perspective on marine conservation challenges and solutions across our region. Currently living and working in Bellingham, Adam and his family enjoy nothing more than being out on the water and exploring local beaches.
Betsy Lyons has over 17 years of experience working collaboratively on scientific research, policy and conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest... Read more
She has worked on a broad range of issues including forest canopy research, rare plant conservation, natural area stewardship, native oyster restoration, water quality, shoreline and estuary restoration and climate change. Her interest is in bring together people, funding, technical resources and sound science to make informed decisions and strategic investments in Puget Sound. She believes healthy, functioning habitats are key to supporting vibrant and sustainable local communities. She values the Northwest Straits Foundation’s commitment to informed policy through sound science, citizen engagement, public-private partnerships, and voluntary conservation. Betsy was an integral member of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Program which created the state’s nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy for Puget Sound. She helped create and manage the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program which provides funding and technical assistance for high quality nearshore restoration, protection and monitoring in Puget Sound. She has a BS in Botany from the University of Washington and a Master of Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College. She currently lives and works in the Seattle area.
Tom received a BA from Wabash College (1966) and served in the US Army from 1966-1969... Read more
Tom received a BA from Wabash College (1966) and served in the US Army from 1966-1969. He received a PhD in Botany from the University of Washington (1973) then spent three years at UBC on a postdoctoral fellowship before joining the Washington Department of Natural Resources in 1976. At WDNR he researched the cultivation of seaweeds for the production of phycolloids and food, and developed and managed programs for management and inventory of seaweeds and seagrasses on state-owned aquatic lands. He served on the Nearshore Science Team for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project. He has taught in various universities and consulted overseas in seaweed aquaculture. Since his retirement in 2011, he is focusing on researching marine algal biodiversity, the role of kelp in marine ecosystems, on kelp restoration, and on teaching. He was lead biologist for an ARPA-E project to grow kelp for biomass. He has worked to develop a kelp conservation and recovery plan for NOAA, and acting in an advisory role for the Puget Sound Restoration Fund’s project for using kelp to mitigate for OA. He served as an alternate on the Strategic Advisory Council for the OCNMS for12 years and currently is on the Science Advisory Committee for the NW Straits Initiative.
Mary Margaret Stoll
Mary Margaret is a graduate student in the School of Oceanography... Read more
Mary Margaret is a graduate student in the School of Oceanography advised by Alex Gagnon and was a 2019-2020 PCC Graduate Fellow. Her research involves the study of geochemical fingerprints recorded in coral skeletons to understand the ocean’s role in past climate change. Searching for analogs of significant warming and acidification in the past will allow us to contextualize the climatic trends we see today and constrain projections of future change.
Clay serves as the Divisional Vice President of Membership at REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.).... Read more
and has spent his career in industry and consulting roles focused on customer strategy and marketing. He’s passionate about working with broad stakeholder groups to foster shared commitment, activism, and investment in protecting and preserving our natural environment and biodiversity. When not working, you’ll find Clay enjoying the Pacific Northwest by sailing in the Salish Sea, backcountry skiing in the Cascades, or ambling around local trails.
Emeritus Board Members
Emeritus Board Member
Emeritus Board Member
We work in partnership with the Northwest Straits Commission and
the Marine Resources Committees to support restoration and education projects across the region.
Learn more about our partners: Northwest Straits Commission and Marine Resources Committees